Northeast Animal Shelter is proud to announce a new pet foster program in partnership with Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC), who has been providing free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence on the North Shore for more than 40 years.

At Northeast Animal Shelter, saving homeless pets is at the core of our mission, but NEAS recognizes that we cannot help pets without also helping the people who love them. As we expand efforts to both engage with and provide resources for the community, NEAS’ partnership with HAWC — a fellow Salem-based non-profit organization — ensures we are broadening our reach to assist the community in any way we can.

“There are numerous barriers that prevent survivors from being able to leave abusive relationships, including financial constraints, fear of physical harm, and in many cases, fear of leaving a beloved pet in an abusive home,” said Sara Stanley, Executive Director of HAWC. “When leaving an abusive situation, survivors often need to move into temporary housing, which typically does not allow pets. Survivors are forced to make the difficult decision to leave their pet behind to seek their own safety, or to stay in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship.”

This is where Northeast Animal Shelter comes in. Now, when a survivor is ready to leave and the only remaining factor is the need to find temporary shelter for their pet, NEAS will work directly with HAWC to place the survivor’s pet in a vetted, safe foster home while the survivor settles into a more stable living situation. NEAS will provide these pets with food, medical care and cover any other expenses that may arise while under our supervision. Survivors and their pets will be reunited when the survivor is able to identify and achieve safe, sustainable housing. Additionally, Northeast Animal Shelter will provide pet food to any HAWC clients struggling to feed their pets on an ongoing basis through our Community Pet Food Bank.

“Northeast Animal Shelter is continually looking to build strong relationships with other community organizations. We see this model as the future of animal welfare — keeping pets happy and healthy by assisting the people who love them,” said Jamie Garabedian, Community Relations Manager of NEAS.

“Great things happen when local non-profits work together. This program will save lives,” Stanley said.

If you are interested in becoming a foster caregiver for Northeast Animal Shelter, please fill out the foster care program application. If you have questions regarding the foster care program, please email